London Borough of Brent becomes UK's 1st Genuine Cashless Council



The definition of a Cashless Council or Local Authority is one where all cash transactions have been removed completely from the transactional payments workflow.

A number of Local Authorities across the UK have trialled cashless systems across different areas such for catering, parking and payments with limited adoption and success  but the London Borough of Brent is the UK's first genuine Cashless Local Authority as a result of working with MasterCard and Prepaid Financial Services  to design and launch a number of social disbursement prepaid card programmes.

The programmes drove significant cost savings and efficiencies for Brent Council.  Once other council departments realized the savings, they launched incremental programmes including payroll, petty cash and guardianship accounts. The Council finally decided to replace all cash payments in and out with electronic solutions – delivering powerful cost savings and revenue returns for the Council.


  • The Council needed a streamlined way to disburse, track and reclaim funds for all users receiving direct payments 
  • The Council wanted to address high levels of fraud from direct payments made in cash including challenging the payment of carers in cash which reduced tax and NI income 
  • The Council wanted to address the inefficient process to provide funds to users in care homes and manage ancillary services such as meals on wheels
  • Brent is multicultural and has low internet penetration so any solution required a multi lingual service center and significant support/user training
  • The Council wanted to reduce the high provision costs of cash offices on Council premises which provided emergency payments and collected payments of fines and taxes


  • 6% clawback rate on Direct Payments budget (£6.5M)
  • Significant process and admin savings releasing staff to focus on front line care
  • Savings of 4 FTEs equivalent following removal of cash
  • Increases in VAT income due to improved transparency of Council spend
  • Increases in tax and NI to central Treasury due to removing cash access

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